CalFresh - Eligibility

How much money can I have and still get CalFresh?

You can have income from a full- or part-time job, unemployment benefits, General Relief, or CalWORKs and still get CalFresh. If your income is less than the amount on this chart, you may qualify for CalFresh.

CalFresh Income Guidelines -
October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015
Household Size Maximum Gross Monthly Income
1 $1,915
2 $2,585
3 $3,255
4 $3,925
5 $4,595
6 $5,265
7 $5,935
8 $6,605
+ 1 Member + $670


If you are 60 years of age or older, disabled, or if you get Medi-Cal, you may qualify for CalFresh even if your income is higher than listed above.

Some persons may be able to get expedited CalFresh - that is they may get approved faster for their CalFresh. You may qualify for Expedited CalFresh if:

  • You have less than $100 in accessible resources or $150 in gross monthly income;
  • Your combined monthly gross income and accessible resources are less than your monthly utility and rent/mortgage; or
  • You are a destitute migrant/seasonal farm worker whose accessible resources are less than $100.

What about things I own?

Struggling households can keep their savings for a rainy day. If you are applying for CalFresh only, you may qualify even if you have cash on hand, money in the bank, own a car, or own any property.

Who can't get CalFresh?

Certain people are not allowed to receive CalFresh.

  • Full-time college students may not be able to get CalFresh, unless they meet special rules.
  • SSI recipients cannot get CalFresh.
    • SSI recipients who are on "suspended status" may be eligible for CalFresh.
    • SSDI and Social Security recipients may be eligible for CalFresh depending on their monthly income and cost of living.
  • Parole or probation violators and fleeing felons cannot get CalFresh.

Special Note:
Currently, people with certain drug felony convictions are not eligible for CalFresh. Starting April 1, 2015, even persons with drug felony convictions can apply if they meet certain requirements.

What documents do I need?

You may need some of the following documents when applying for Calfresh. Try to bring as many of them as you can with you when you apply to help with the processing of your application:

  • Identification, like a driver's license or state ID.
    • Also acceptable are Social Security card; work/school ID; health benefits ID; voter registration card; wage stub; birth certificate; U.S. passport; credit/check cashing cards; USCIS documents; and Mexican or Argentine Consular IDs.
    • If you do not have an ID, you can prove your identity using a "collateral contact." This is a person who knows you, such as a relative, neighbor, employer, or landlord.
  • Proof of income (pay stubs, benefits check, or bank statements if you get direct deposit).
  • Proof of where you live.
  • Rent receipt or mortgage payment (if you pay for housing).
  • Utility bills (if you pay for your utilities).
  • Car registration (if you own a car).
  • Receipt for child care costs (if you pay for childcare).
  • Social Security Numbers - only for eligible household members.
  • Proof of Immigration Status – only for eligible household members.
    • Only U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens may get CalFresh.
    • Eligible non-citizens include: LPRs; residents under INA §101(a)(15); PRUCOL; refugees; asylees; Cuban and Haitian entrants; persons granted withholding of deportation or removal; persons with a pending VAWA petition; parolees under INA §212(d)(5) for at least one year; conditional entrants; Amnesty Aliens who are not SSI-aged/blind/disabled and were granted Temporary Resident status at least 5 years before applying for CalFresh.


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